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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep 7, 2010

England got it spot on, says Gerrard

England captain Steven Gerrard was in bullish mood after seeing his side "tear apart" Switzerland in Tuesday night's Euro 2012 qualifier in Basel.

Capello impressed by Rooney

• Forum: Perfect start for England?
• Euro 2012 qualifying round-up
• Euro 2012 qualifying gallery
• Friendlies: Argentina thrash Spain

The Three Lions followed up Friday's eye-catching 4-0 victory over Bulgaria with an equally composed 3-1 win against the Swiss tonight.

Wayne Rooney netted his first England goal for a year after 10 minutes, and after Switzerland had Stephan Lichtsteiner sent off Adam Johnson made it 2-0.

Xherdan Shaqiri reduced the arrears before Darren Bent wrapped up the points two minutes from time, and Gerrard felt England were good value for the margin of their victory.

"I think the first-half performance was perfect," Gerrard told Sky Sports. "Everything the manager asked of us, we got the gameplan spot on. People were talking about how good Switzerland are defensively, but we just tore them apart."

"I think we got a little bit lazy in the second half, they came into the game, but it was never in doubt.

Reflecting on Rooney's goal, which came after several days of negative headlines about his private life, Gerrard said: "I think that's great for Wayne.

"Obviously all the talk in the build-up was about Wayne so it was nice for him to get the early goal and I'm sure that's helped his performance. Tonight he was terrific, like he was on Friday, and I'm sure he'll be great for us throughout the qualification."

Gerrard added: "I think a lot of credit's deserved tonight after beating Switzerland 3-1. It should have been five or six."

Coach Fabio Capello revealed Wayne Rooney cut a happy figure in the England dressing room after he had put three days of negative headlines behind him.

''I had seen he had been okay in training, now he plays an official game really well,'' said Capello. ''The players want to play without other things on their minds. They can focus on the game alone. He did that today. At the end, he was really happy.

''Wayne Rooney played very well. (Mentally) he was okay and scoring the goal helped too. This position is good for him. It is easy for him to get into positions to shoot.

''Switzerland, on paper, were the most difficult opponents in our group so to win here is really important. But the result wasn't everything. It was also about the performance of the team.''

Capello was delighted with Adam Johnson's contribution, which raised more questions about why the Manchester City winger - one of six Blues on the pitch at the end of the match - was left out of his World Cup squad.

Johnson must come into contention for the third group game, against fellow unbeaten side Montenegro at Wembley on October 12, although Theo Walcott should be fit after fears the Arsenal man had broken an ankle in the build-up to Rooney's opener were quickly dispelled.

''I spoke with Theo and he told me it is not a big problem,'' said Capello. ''I said 'two weeks', he said less.''

The overall performance was in stark contrast to England's dismal World Cup efforts and raised question marks over absent star men John Terry, Rio Ferdinand and Frank Lampard, who have not been missed in an opening to qualification that has garnered six points and seven goals.

''You know my answer,'' said Capello when asked about the difference in his team. ''We are really good in this period because we are fresh. All the players can run, their minds are free. Everything they try to do comes off.''

Hitzfeld conceded Switzerland had found it hard to contain their visitors in that blistering opening period. But, having somehow clung on, the German bemoaned Lichtsteiner's dismissal, although he admitted the full-back had been stupid to collect that first booking.

''The second yellow card was harsh because he played the ball but I am angry with the first because we know Italian referees don't like players questioning their decisions,'' he said. ''The player plays in Italy and knows what it is like, so that was unprofessional.''

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